Love Letters: Sophie Fagan and Wes Anderson

Abigail Gower

Web Editor

In Love Letters, The Artisan speaks with one senior from each arts area about an artist in their field who has been meaningful to them and their artistic practice. If you’re interested in participating in this series, you can express interest by sending a direct message to The Artisan’s Instagram account, @artisan_news.

From bright pinks, yellows, and blues, it’s clear Wes Anderson, American filmmaker, creates eye-catching visuals to back up his stories on the big screen. Sophie Fagan, 12th grade cinematic arts student, isn’t much different. From her bright red hair to her orange and green outfit, both Anderson and Fagan have an appreciation of color as just one of the many factors in creating a great film.         

“Color is a huge thing I always see with [Anderson’s] films and the interesting cinematography that I try to mirror with [my work].” Fagan said.

Anderson’s color palettes work for a reason. “Wes Anderson has a great taste of color and style and blends them into a psychological scene. He tends to work within the Art Nouveau style – often described as sinuous, rhythmical, and dreamlike,” states. Art Nouveau is used to represent dream-like states and typically gives a sense of calming in its usual depictions of women and flowers.

The question arose as to why Fagan chose Wes Anderson as her inspiration. She described the ways in which Anderson was able to create an entire universe in a single movie. Wes Anderson is most commonly known for directing and writing movies such as “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Moonrise Kingdom.”

Anderson (left) and Fagan (right)

What stood out the most to Fagan was his characters. “His characters are always so complex, so unique, even though his storylines might not be so complex.” She compares this to “The Royal Tenenbaums” a movie she describes everyone being able to find a character like themselves in. This movie, directed by Anderson and written with Owen Wilson, stars Luke Wilson,T Ben Stiller, and Gwyneth Paltrow, to name a few. She also says this is an Anderson movie everyone should see because of the quirkiness in the portrayal of a family dynamic.

Fagan’s advice to other film students would be to focus on other components of a film such as the lighting or set design because they have just as much to say in a film as the storyline does.

Fagan’s favorite Anderson film is “Rushmore,” made in 1998 and starring Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray as a student at a private school and a father, respectively. Fagan says this is her favorite because the characters are funny, and the storyline is quirky.

Fagan wants to be a director eventually. She considers her films to be more indie and would like to see them in places like A24, an independent entertainment company. She says her films might not be for everyone, contrasting them from popular series like “Marvel.” Fagan said her work grew when she “started paying attention more to stories [she] would want to see.” 

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